Top marks: Fifa's campaign against 2010 World Cup infringement


With the soccer World Cup approaching, organiser FIFA is pursuing a vigilant and so-far successful campaign to protect its intellectual property. WIPR investigates.

On June 11, a billion people will watch as the first soccer World Cup to be held in Africa kicks off. But while Mexico and South Africa will be focused solely on winning the opening game, for FIFA, the tournament organiser and soccer world’s governing body, there are other concerns.

The World Cup is big business. FIFA’s corporate partners include Adidas, Coca Cola, Visa, Sony, McDonald’s and Emirates, to name a few. They all have substantial stakes in ensuring they receive the best possible publicity from the event and, having paid FIFA for the privilege, will not be pleased to find other companies freeriding on the event’s profile.

As FIFA puts it: “FIFA rights holders will only invest in the 2010 FIFA World Cup if they are provided with this exclusivity for the use of the marks. If anyone could use the official marks for free and create an association with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, there would be no reason to become a FIFA rights holder.”

FIFA, World Cup, South Africa, infringement, ambush, marketing